Video: McCain's first negative ad

A little bon voyage present for Team Barry as they head for the Middle East. It’s silly to make an issue of him not having been to Iraq in years when the news this week will erase that from voters’ minds, but bringing up troop funding is clever in how it boxes him in. If he responds by noting that he’s voted for billions in war money since 2005, he risks giving liberals and independents another reason to be nervous about the depth of his commitment to pulling out. If he responds by playing up his anti-war cred and saying he’s proud of having voted against funding last May, he’s trapped into explaining why he wanted to cut the money that ended up fueling the success of the surge. The answer? He wanted a timetable for withdrawal, and when the bill that eventually passed failed to include one he joined Hillary in pandering to the left by voting no. That vote is further proof that he was ready to start moving out while Iraq was still tottering. Smart of McCain to put it back on the table.

If you hear an echo of Krauthammer’s column today in that pointed “Country First” motto at the end, it’s no accident.